In preparation for commissioning of the 141 megawatt Aba Integrated Power Project in few months time by Geometric Power, the Company’s third thermal turbine sent to Houston, Texas, in the United States for periodic retrofitting has been successfully returned to the country.
Geometric Power had in February this year, secured re-acquisition of the Aba Ring-fence Area after a protracted court battle with Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) that lasted for about nine years.
Since then the company has been putting finishing touches in the power facility to commission and commence full scale supply of electricity services to the people of Aba.
Two of the three turbines sent out in December, 2019, to Houston, Texas in the United States for a comprehensive check at the plant of General Electric (GE), the world’s biggest electricity equipment manufacturing group in the world, have already been reinstalled at the Geometric Power Plant at Osisioma Industrial Layout in Aba, Abia State, while the third is on its way to the plant.
Each of the natural gas-fired three turbines generates 47 megawatts, bringing the total capacity of electricity which can be generated at the Aba Power Project to 141 megawatts, though the plant is licensed to produce 181 megawatts.
According to the managing director of Geometric Power Aba Limited (GPAL), Engineer Ben Caven, the company would acquire more power plants “If the demand for electricity grows beyond the current installed capacity of 141MW.”
“We will just acquire one more 47MW turbine which will bring our generation to 181MW,” Caven added.
Engr. Caven who is a former Executive Director of the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) explained that though the three turbines have not been used to generate electricity since they were installed the first time in 2012 following the dispute with EEDC which has now been resolved, Geometric Power found it necessary to return them to the manufacturer for review.
“This is because it is in consonance with the best international engineering practice”, Caven added.
He further noted that Geometric Power “is lucky to have sent out our three turbines when it did in December, 2019, otherwise the retrofitting would have been delayed for long on account of COVID-19 which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March, 2020.”
Like the two turbines already fixed, the third turbine will be installed by KS Energy, an American company based in Turkey run by erstwhile GE executives.
“KS will complete, commission, operate and maintain the turbines”, declared the Geometric Power chairman, Professor Bart Nnaji, a former Minister of Power and a globally recognized engineering authority.
Chief Executive Officer of the company, Prof. Bart Nnaji disclosed that KS is investing in the Aba Integrated Power Project.
He further revealed that the over new 100 kilometres of 33KV power lines and 40 kilometres of 11KVA power lines in Aba built by Geometric Power were installed by Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), one of the two greatest electricity companies in the world.
“We have made conscious efforts to ensure that our service is world-class in every sense,” he stated.
Commenting further on other infrastructural installations in the facility, the former minister of power said, “Rather than concrete electric poles, which are sometimes pulled down by strong winds in Nigeria, we have installed gigantic tubular poles, made from steel, and with 10 metres of each buried in the ground.
“This means that the nine LGAs we will be supplying power will continue to have uninterrupted supply even in the unlikely event of a natural disaster”.
Cliff Eneh, a former engineer with Texas Power and Light who was to serve as a Senior Manager with the defunct Power Holding Company (PHCN) in Lagos, said that “many cities in the United States do not have power facilities as sophisticated as what Geometric has built in Aba.
“Geometric Power is truly a model electricity firm,” Eneh stated.